How Bad Is Type 1 Diabetes?

Last Editorial Review: 5/10/2018

Ask the experts

My son has just been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and I'm so worried for him. How bad is this disease? Is type 1 diabetes fatal? How long can you live with type 1 diabetes?

Doctor’s Response

Research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that people with type 1 diabetes live about 11 years less than average; however, new research also suggests this differential can be reduced with good glycemic control. Most people with type 1 diabetes die from complications of type 1 diabetes such as heart disease or kidney disease. Thus, preventing complications and following a healthy lifestyle that prevents heart disease and controls your blood sugar are the best things people with type 1 diabetes can do to live a long, healthy life.

Uncontrolled blood sugar can lead to a number long-term complications associated with diabetes such as

If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes you can prevent complications by maintaining a healthy low blood sugar, eating a healthy diet rich in vegetables, and staying physically active.

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References


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Frederiksen, B., et al. "Infant Exposures and Development of Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus: The Diabetes Autoimmunity Study in the Young (DAISY)." JAMA pediatrics. 2013;167(9):808-815.

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